Potential U.S. Patent On Multi-Organoid Bioreactor Platform.
The system, which comprises hardware for organoid maintenance, manipulation and recording, together with customized software for seamless data processing and analysis, is designed to increase throughput, deliver heightened consistency, and extend stimulation and monitoring capabilities.
Ultimately, the new technology enhances Novoheart's capacity and further expands its ability to identify promising bioactive therapeutics, classify toxicity of unknown drugs and pioneer innovative methods of addressing diseases or disorders.
Drug development is a long, expensive and inefficient process. Typically it can cost $2-3 billion and take more than 10 years to develop a single drug, with unacceptably high failure rates of around 90 percent.
Cardiac toxicity has been a major contributing factor, and conventional non-human cell and animal models are part of the problem: they are poorly predictive of human responses, leading to false negative and false positive results that compromise overall successes.
Bioartificial tissue-engineered organoids represent a potent technology to revolutionize drug screening by improving the ability to predict the effects of newly developed drugs in a human-specific model system.
The expected results are minimized patient harm and significantly reduced screening costs through eliminating toxic drug candidates early in pre-clinical development.
The provisional patent covers the design of a bioreactor platform for tissue-engineered human organoids with an array of innovative tools to support organoid development and improve analysis of their functional response to therapeutics.
The first applications of the bioreactor will be to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of cardio-active drugs on human ventricular cardiac organoid chambers (hvCOC), a part of Novoheart's MyHeart Platform.
The modular design of the bioreactor allows multiple organoids to be combined for increased throughput of the semi-automated culture and testing process. Additionally, the interconnected bioreactor design makes it uniquely able to simultaneously culture a variety of bio-engineered organoids, such as liver, kidney or brain organoids, and allow them to communicate with one another through a circulatory-like fluidic system, simulating how organs react to drugs as an integrated system.
The provisional patent application is expected to mature into a full patent and provide commercial protection for the bioreactor technology.
The company said the pinnacle of Novo-heart's MyHeart Platform is the hvCOC, or human heart-in-a-jar, which provides a combination of electrophysiology and contractility measures most informative to cardiologists.
By automating some of the existing labor-intensive processes such as data acquisition and analysis, the technology introduces a combination of hardware and software that will enable the increase not only of the quantity but the quality of hvCOCs that can be tested.
It can begin to integrate these with other organoid systems in a way that captures the complex systems-level physiology of the human body.
"The result is that we will be able to deliver more predictive preclinical assays for our clients that will help them significantly reduce costs, ensure safety and efficacy of new therapeutics, and maximize success rates, thereby ultimately creating new values to our investors," said Novo-heart CEO Ronald Li.